There are about 16,000 buses in Norway today. Ruter, the public transportation agency for Oslo and Akershus, operates 1,200 in the capital city region. About 10% of them are electric, but Ruter and the Norwegian government have set their sights on converting the entire fleet to electricity as soon as possible.
Enova is an instrumentality of the Norwegian government whose mission is to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint. It is funded by the government and by a surcharge on the utility bills Norwegians pay. Each year, it distributes about $200 million to local communities to support its work.
This year, $7 million is going to help fund the purchase of 100 electric city buses for Ruter’s South Oslo service, according to Norsk Ebilforening. Ruter expects to have more than 470 electric buses in its fleet by 2023 and to eliminate all diesel buses by 2028.
“It’s not long since electric buses went from being almost unimaginable to becoming a normal feature of traffic. But still zero-emission solutions are more expensive, so it is important that we make such investments more affordable through Enova and that we have players such as Ruter going ahead,” said Climate and Environment Minister Sveinung Rotevatn in a press release.
Enova CEO Nils Kristian Nakstad added, “In total, these emission free buses will run almost seven million kilometers every year and save the capital over 10,000 tons of C02. On a Norwegian scale, this is a significant investment, but just as important as the emissions cuts in Oslo, is the significance of the project for developing the value chain for electric buses throughout Norway.”
More Than Buses. Chargers Too
Electric vehicles are useless without the charging infrastructure needed to keep them powered up. Part of the Enova grant will be used to install fast chargers for the buses at Ruter terminals. In addition, a number of standard and high power charging stations will be installed at those terminals for use by EV drivers.
On its website, Enova makes it clear what needs to be done to rid the atmosphere of carbon pollution and how to make that happen. It’s a philosophy that others would do well to emulate.
On the path towards a low emission society, Norway will cut emissions, and businesses must create new values. In order to achieve this, we must exploit Norway’s renewable energy resources effectively, and we must invest more in innovation and technology development. We still do not have all the solutions we will need for the low emission society. These new solutions cannot just be sustainable – they must also be financially viable.
This will not happen by itself — which is where Enova comes in. It can be costly and risky for individual businesses to start using the newest and most climate-friendly technologies. Enova can make a financial contribution so that projects can still be implemented. Each year, Enova invests more than NOK 2 Billion of public resources in solutions that help build a green Norway for tomorrow.
Our work is far from done. We will continue to help Norway reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop new energy and climate technology. We will still be here to help push ideas to the market and to do our part to ensure innovations increase in both scope and speed.
Hat tip to Are Hansen.